Apr 23, 2014

Weekly Wednesday Writing Challenge 4.23.2014

Set your timer to 10 minutes and start writing. Your opening sentence should be

"I could not see more than 2 feet in front of me..."

Remember you can write in any style or format. When you are finished cut and paste your 10 min piece in the comment thread below OR put a link to your own blog or area where you write online.


  1. I COULD NOT SEE MORE THAN TWO FEET IN FRONT OF ME. I tried to cry out but I couldn’t make a sound. Then I heard footsteps coming towards me through the smoke and a high pitched wailing filled the room.
    “What did you do?”
    “What could I do? I sat there and waited. I figured if I couldn't see them then they couldn't see me.”
    “I can’t believe you ever survived.”
    “Neither can I.”
    She bent closer to his bed, dabbing lightly at the cuts and bruises on his face.
    “The doctor will be along soon I’m sure. There were so many people brought in last night.”
    “I know.”
    Both paused for a moment. Their eyes held each others, sharing the silent horror that both had witnessed. Both longing to say something, but neither able to put words to what they had seen.
    “Now then, Mr….. Barrow?
    Both jumped. Neither had heard the doctor approaching.
    “Is that correct?” The doctor peered down at the crumpled notes in his hand. “It’s your leg?”
    The doctor bent and pulled back the blanket that covered his legs.
    “You have made a mess of yourself. Hmmmm.”
    “Do you….” He swallowed. “Do you think you’ll be able to save them?”
    “Mmmmm” the doctor replied. “You’ve been waiting how long?”
    “He was one of the later casualties to be brought in” the nurse replied for him. “He’s only been here a few hours.”
    “Well, I suppose there is a chance. We’ll have to see what we can do. You’re a darn sight luckier than most of the men I’ve seen tonight.”
    “Do you think so?”
    “You can see, hear, move your arms; Yes, I’d say you were very lucky.”
    “But I can think.”
    The doctor had no reply to that. He glanced back down at his notes.
    “Yes… Well…”
    The nurse bent to pull the blanket back over his legs….

  2. I could not see more than 2 feet in front of me... I could not read with both eyes open... I could not squint without tearing up... even looking at porn hurt. All those days looking forward to my very own HUD, to my private window on the world. Little numbers, little words, pinging greens and whites; knowing that in five years, my eyes would be obsolete. But getting a leg up, a real leg up, on the market.

    "First!" I could say at top of the forums, and prove it with pictures of my biologic retinas, shrivelled like old contacts. "And they're awesome, too."

    Upload eyeshots with real-time compass bearings, tree counts, tickers that update every time they read Softbank or Docomo, real, viable up-skirting. Blink! You're on camera!

    But I couldn't see a damn thing. The doc said the water retinas didn't take, that my body was allergic. And my retinas got too scarred in the process. It's why I signed the waiver.

    They washed their hands and shuffled me outside with a white cane, some dark glasses, and a few tips.

    "Run the cane along the grooves in the middle of the walk. You'll find the station. Picture the way you came, and just reverse the direction. Left is right, right is left. If you have trouble, call us."

    As I tapped and shuffled back to the station, orange tears bubbled out of my new craters. I tasted salt and blood.

    1. Both your pieces powerful and intriguing. AND you get gold stars for being 1. first out of the gate and 2. writing twice!

  3. I could not see more than 2 feet in front of me as I glided down the mountain. My skis made a smooth, hissing sound against the wet, heavy snow. I was vaguely aware of the occasional skier passing me. The trail was one of those long, winding green runs, almost – but not quite ¬– flat. Lovely for skiers, not so nice for snowboarders. It curved gently to the left, then to the right, then to the left again, and so it went. I felt myself entering a hypnotic, dreamlike state and struggled to fight it off, not wanting to go over the edge. I became aware that the only skis I’d heard for some time were my own. Was I the last one on the mountain in this dense cloud? How long had I been on this course? Suddenly, it seemed like hours, although I felt no burn in my thighs, no pain in my knees. Where was I? Was I still conscious (was I still alive?) or had I skied off the side of the mountain without noticing? I tried to stop but found that I could not. I wasn’t out of control in the sense of gaining speed, but I couldn’t slow down, either.

    1. Feels so real as if this happened to you for real !

    2. feels so dangerous- no wonder I don't like skiing!

    3. Anonymous12:03:00 PM

      I could really feel the hypnotic state - all seems so quiet and cosy until you realise you're all alone. Eeek!

  4. I could not see more than two feet in front of me, hell, I couldn't even see two inches in front of me, but I held my ground. Whenever flight or fight kicked in I always went for fight. I was well aware this was akin to being incredibly stupid; flight is not the wrong option, nor is it cowardice. Like eighty percent of the time, if a situation has progressed to full-on fighting then you have already lost. That was what my Dad taught me from the time I was old enough to throw even the most pathetic punch.

    I ease my hand slowly down to my purse, glad that I had already kicked my shoes off. Heels are not good for fighting in but they can make a good weapon, in a pinch. Now they were accesible and not going to break my ankle. I carry a metal nail file for situations like these. It's not a weapon until I make it one. If you take your gun out make sure you are ready to use it, my Dad always said. Just the precense of a weapon escalates the fight from 'scuffle' to 'attempted murder'. If you're not going to shoot, then don't break out the gun.

    I ease my weight onto my back foot and adjust the nail file in between the fingers on my left hand, humming softly to myself as I drop my bag. Most people who don't actually fight will throw a right hook first, too many action movies have taught us all that. My Dad taught me to never lead with it.

    And, finally, unless a fight is planned, don't fight fair. Fight dirty. I let my eyes adjust as much as they can, and consider my next move. Someone is in my apartment. I won't stand for that.

    1. Whoops, presence. Typing too fast and no time to edit m(._.)m

    2. lots of power to this one!

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  6. Have respect to the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. -- Psalm 74:20

    It is the light I feared for that was when she could find me. Wherever I was, even when I tried to hide in the open sunlight with others around, hoping to camouflage myself in the midst of their humanity, hoping her searching eyes would not see me, she sought and found me. Her hungry heart beat faster, perhaps, when she sniffed and scented that I was near, and she closed in for the kill. The daylight was not a refuge but a shining beacon lighting the way for her. In the daylight, she could sit next to me and whisper about the man she will hire to kill me. In the daylight, she could tell me of how she will rip out my heart, eat it and then shit it out. In the daylight, I could see the hatred that seemed to leap across the molecules in the air and force its way into my soul.
    In the dark she was frightened and conquered. She lost her power in the dark -- her power to hurt, to tear, to rip apart the delicate fragile cords that held us, that kept our sanity from escaping.
    The dark was a good place to be and though I could not see two feet in front of me, I felt safe as I never could in the light. It was the light that was full of the habitations of cruelty, not the dark places of the earth.

    1. this is so powerful and profoundly scary. Nice work.

  7. Anonymous7:24:00 AM

    I could not see more than two feet in front of me; my candle, guttering and dipping in the gloom snuffed itself out inside the jittery cage of my fingers. How I should have stumbled – or worse yet, summoned the housekeeper – in my first week of employ at Plum Street Curiosities! Such follies eluded my thoughts; I curled my toes and resumed my morning descent into the shop.

    1. nicely done. esp. love the "jittery cage of my fingers"

    2. Anonymous8:37:00 AM

      Looking back at this, it reads like a shrunken version of my two page "is she still descending the stairs?" scene. :)

  8. Anonymous11:55:00 AM

    I could not see more than two feet in front of me, which was hardly any great loss. The action was all right here, hot metal hissing angrily at the rain, the sodden haze of knock-off diesel fuel sputtering and struggling against inertia. To go forward is life. To stand still is death. Time is money, and you are in my way.

    To my right is the yawning gutter, last resting place of the careless, the unruthless, and those too poor to ride a knock-off diesel-powered Chinese knock-off Honda. Fish guts, too. I ride a bicycle, but am conspicuously too white to be poor. If I am not poor, I must be crazy. All Tay are crazy. You should see the prices I pay for my vegetables. Clearly insane.

    I am not insane enough to ride without a helmet, though, nor to want to meet my end festooned with fish guts. I jink left through the tiniest of gaps, not muscle but stealth, and back into the the boiling bloodstream of the city.

    1. Anonymous11:57:00 AM

      Too many knock-offs. You know what I mean.

    2. Loved it!
      I loved the phrase Yawning Gutter, last resting place of the careless. That is genius

  9. I could not see for more than two feet in front of me, when he stepped off the bus dressed all in black and wearing sunglasses. Above us Fuji loomed somewhere, lost in the swirling rainstorm that had descended with no warning. Despite our having checked the weather forecasts dozens of times before bringing the students on the mountain, the rain gods had other plans for the night.
    “Fred, you must take off the sunglasses.”
    “But you said I would need the glasses to protect my eyes from the dust.” It was true that the dust on Fuji could be brutal. Two years before when I had climbed Fuji from toe to top with my blind boyfriend, I had envied him his glasses, which he wore all night, drawing double takes from our fellow climbers.
    “Can you see anything?”
    “No.” To the teenage brain, this apparently wasn’t much of a problem.
    “Now listen everyone,” I said to the students. “This is very important. You must go through your backpacks and take out everything that is not important.” The students obediently rifled through their packs and removed game boys, X-boxes and nintendos. Ipods were debated, but finally made the ascent with us.
    Our rock star took off like a shot, but by the time we got to the 6th station he was exhausted.
    “Fred, open your pack.” I suspected contraband, but I was unprepared for what I saw. In his backpack were four huge volume of manga, the kind that resembled the phone book I remembered from my childhood. The kind only a Japanese person would consider carrying further than the cash register.
    “I thought I told you to take out of your bags everything that wasn’t important!” He just looked at me. That was the stupidest thing he had heard all night.
    Feeling a bit of mercy for the floundering soul in front of me, I duly loaded the phone books into my backpack.
    He didn’t make it to the top, even without the ballast. We pushed him to the 8th station, then he gave up. I pushed on with a group of fitter students to watch the day break on the world from the top.
    Anyone who has climbed Fuji knows that down in far worse than up. The next morning on the scree covered hell that passes for the descent, my knees were screaming and I was fuming in my head. What sort of idiot carries four manga to the top of Fuji?
    My ankles buckled under me, and the weight of my pack almost tipped me backwards. The weight of my pack. Wait a minute, who carried those manga all the way to the top of this silly mountain? That would be me.
    Who is the idiot in this story? I will leave you to decide.

    1. Really like it. Will this be in the education memoir? It should be!

  10. I could not see more than 2 feet in front of me. What started as pretty sprinkles of sugar last night had methodically muffled the whole city in just several hours. Record-breaking, the news said. This year had been pretty dry and that had us sophisticatedly worried. We hadn’t had a single drop of rain in the past two months, but the steadily dropping temperature finally made someone up there kick the snow bucket, and out it came. And there were no signs of stopping in the morning.

    “Hey, can you get ready? I’m almost done here.” Karen shouted over the gushing water and clattering dishes. I handed her the empty mug, fixed the crooked tie, picked up our weekend trip suitcases, and headed for the garage on the basement floor. Karen joined in the car just when it was all warmed up and ready.

    “Alright, here we go.” I turned on the radio, and she turned on the headlight. “It’s 9 in the morning,” I protested as we stepped into the bright grey, swirling world. “You will see.” And she was right. Even with the blinding headlight on, I could only make out a vague mass of an SUV in front of me. Thank goodness for its nauseatingly bright mustard color. “So this is what they call blizzard!” I blurted out, and mentally crossed it off of my to-see list. I fought back the urge to stop and snap a few photos of splashing blotches of wet snow against the windshield.

    1. Some word combinations I like...
      methodically muffled

      stepped into the bright grey, swirling world